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China sends patrol ships to South China Sea

(Xinhua)

08:17, June 27, 2012

ABOARD HAIJIAN 83, June 26 (Xinhua) -- A patrol team consisting of four China Marine Surveillance (CMS) ships on Tuesday sailed from south China's coastal city of Sanya to the South China Sea to conduct regular patrols.

According to an unnamed CMS official, the team is expected to travel more than 2,400 nautical miles (4,500 kilometers) during the patrols, adding that formation drills will be conducted "if maritime conditions permit."

According to the official, the CMS launched regular patrols in 2006 in a bid to highlight sovereignty and jurisdiction as an important part of the country's efforts to protect its marine interests.

The CMS, an administrative and law enforcement group under the State Oceanic Administration, is responsible for marine patrols and surveillance, as well as preventing the illegal use of sea areas, harm to the marine environment and resources, the destruction of maritime facilities and the disturbance of maritime order.

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